Xiangji Temple, located in Weiqu, Chang’an district, 17 kilometers to the south of the Xian City, was built in the Year two in the Reign of the Emperor Zhongzong in the Tang Dynasty (706AD). The main builder of the temple is monk Huai Yun for mourning the death of his master monk Shandao who was a renowned monk in Tang dynasty and believed to be one of the initiators of a branch of Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism. Referring to the origin of name of the temple, there are two versions. One says that the temple is named after a river called Xiangji once near the temple in Tang Dynasty. Another saying tells that the temple’s name “Xiangji” roots in Sutra, which is the name of an ancient Indian Buddha, meaning heaped fragrance.
The highlight of the temple is the Shandao Dagoba, 33 meters high, built in 680AD. It was the simulated architectural woodwork made in green bricks. Experiencing the wind and storm, the top two stories of the pagoda had worn away with the baptism of history, leaving only 11 stories. There are twelve saddle-backed half-naked carved Buddhas stenciled on the dagoba, which are very delicate. Besides, the dagoba is also carved with the regular script of diamond Sutra. Undergoing the chaos caused by wars during Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties, the temple was in disrepair for many years and today’s temple is the layout after the renovation in Year 37 during the Reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty.